Business World

Saturday 16 December 2017

Shares down ahead of Fed report

Thomas Molloy

Thomas Molloy

IRISH shares suffered along with shares elsewhere as investors took a cautious stance before the Federal Reserve chief's testimony to a congressional panel later today.

The ISEQ closed down 59.88 points, or 1.5pc, at 3998.02 points – the first time in eight sessions the benchmark closed below the 4,000 level. The index was dragged down by financial stocks and heavy weights such as C&C and Kingspan.

Permanent TSB plunged 18pc to 2.7 cents, while Allied Irish was down 5.3pc at 5.3 cents. Bank of Ireland finished 4.1pc lower at 16.3 cents. The declines in the country's two largest lenders came despite upgrades from Standard & Poor's.

Drinks company C&C fell 3.9pc following poor results from Coca Cola, while Ryanair was down 1.8pc in a bad day for stocks here and elsewhere.

Dragon Oil, a Dublin-listed explorer focused on Turkmenistan, fell the most in more than a year after saying it expects to sell oil at a bigger discount to Brent.

The shares were the second worst performers behind Permanent TSB, closing down 5.6pc at €7.08.

Among the few winners in Dublin were Smurfit Kappa, which touched a record €14.11 before closing at €14. Independent News & Media advanced 0.6pc to 6.9 cents, touching highs not seen since last November.

US stocks fell, halting the longest rally for the Standard & Poor's 500 Index since January, as Coca-Cola slid after earnings declined and a Federal Reserve official called for cuts to stimulus.

Coca-Cola lost 2pc after unseasonable weather and slowing economic growth restrained sales around the globe.

Johnson & Johnson climbed 0.2pc after its earnings more than doubled in the second quarter after it sold its stake in Elan and the company boosted its profit forecast.

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 erased an earlier advance of 0.1pc as travel, media and telecommunications shares helped lead losses.

Telecom Italia slid as much as 4.1pc to a 16-year low in Milan after putting a plan to spin off its fixed-line assets on hold.

Irish Independent

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